I'm sitting on the sofa where I was a week ago, up to watch the Saturday morning matches and to give my back and neck some TLC as I was going to be hitting the road again soon to head back down to the Sunday final round of the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine. I had thought about skipping right to Sunday, but Saturday was part of the journey!
So it's Saturday morning and I'm rotating between a heating pad and ice on my low back, in a blanket cocoon catching up on some work, and checking out what was being said on Twitter about the Ryder Cup while having NBC on my TV (I pride myself on multi-tasking!).
The roller coaster of Friday left USA up 2 (5-3), after a 4-0 sweep in the morning and a fairly unexpected 1-3 in the afternoon matches with the only win coming from Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka. I really think the Friday morning sweep got my expectations so high that the idea of losing a match or two (or 3) was hard to accept! So now it's Saturday morning and I'm convinced we're going to have another sweep!
The lead group of Phil and Rickie were off to a slow start so my idea of a sweep quickly left my head and now it felt like we (and when I say "we" I mean Team USA and all of us!) were in survival mode (sounds a little melodramatic now, but I was feeling the pressure for a good Saturday!)...and we were still in lead! But I was able to calm my anxiety a little because Snedeker and Koepka were up early and so were Reed and Spieth. Zach Johnson and Jimmy Walker were hanging in at all square and so I felt at the very worst we'd keep our 2 up lead going into the afternoon.
I had to nap a little because I was short on sleep and feeling crummy so any recovery I could come up with before heading out again seemed like a good idea. After waking up I went to Twitter. If you are in the Twitter world you know how emotions play out on there...it's all about speed sometimes and at times some thoughtless, silly, mean, or just stupid posts can come out, along with the usual witty, hysterical, and smart ones that I love. For as much as we loved and had passion for Team USA, there were some not nice things posted while it looked like our morning fate was coming together, Team USA was only going to get 1 1/2 points and going into the afternoon.
Then the campaign started to have Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka paired together in the afternoon. I mean, why wouldn't we want the two bombers together??!! And all that came into my mind was the wise advice my high school golf coach would always say (and you know what's coming!!) Drive for Show and Putt for Dough. So while I'm sure it would be FUN to see Brooks & DJ together, in my head I'm thinking, does that really make sense?
Then it happens, the afternoon pairings are posted and Twitter goes nuts. I'm surprised to see that DJ and Brooks are actually paired together!! The thought crossed my mind...are they reading Twitter? The Tweets about it were clever and funny, so I guess for that alone it was worth it. The second thing that happens is that there is the realization that Snedeker is on the bench (who has played great so far with Brooks) and Phil is going back out, this time being paired with Matt Kuchar.
Twitter can be a mean place and I'm not sure I read one positive tweet about Phil in those 20 or 30 minutes. Now I know there is a huge Phil fan base out there, including me, so I know I couldn't be the only one wanting to post a line or two about getting behind our team AND Phil for the afternoon matches. And if I had to be honest I was feeling a little protective of Matt, too. I can't argue about Snedeker being out of the afternoon matches, but if you watched post-final round press conference Snedeker addressed it beautifully.
I got on the road a little later than I had hoped I would but was grateful to have PGA Tour radio in the car. My brother was going to record the last part of golf for us to watch when I got there, but I just couldn't help but follow along in real time. About the only thing I remember was when they were describing Matt Kuchar's putt on #13 and then he drains it!! I was cheering & clapping like crazy! (I did get to see the Shimmy Shake move Matt & Phil did after the putt later at my brother's).
A few times I thought about my Sunday ticket connection, Greg, who was there with this father in law...I can't imagine how much fun he must have been having in those afternoon matches. He sent the picture on the left to me - I'd say he had a pretty good spot to watch in the morning!
About half way to the Twin Cities I realized I left my tennis shoes at home. I knew I couldn't wear my FootJoy flip flops all day Sunday so I was going to need to stop somewhere and buy some...my Minnesota friends probably already knew that it would be North Branch and 20 minutes later I had a new pair of Sketchers (in honor of Matt of course!) [sidebar: I wouldn't recommend new shoes for walking golf tournaments, even if they are Sketchers with memory foam!]
I really enjoyed listening to the PGA Tour Radio coverage of the Saturday Four Ball - they were great at describing the action and I appreciated their emotions. The only thing that bugged me was the (in my opinion) the complete over reaction to the VERY few unruly spectators - I can't remember which commentator (Mark Carnevale??) but with 50,000 people there and maybe a handful of agitators, I'd hardly call that a huge problem. Thankfully, USA had a great afternoon rebound to celebrate.
It was awesome to see the highlights and finish of the Saturday Four Ball on TV. 3-1 in the afternoon - YES!!! With the only loss being DJ and Koepka to McIlroy and Pieters. It's now 9 1/s to 6 1/2 with the USA needing 5 points to claim the cup. I knew Saturday night, as I was getting ready for bed that Sunday was going to be an amazing day.
Amazing not just because it was the Ryder Cup, and not just because there was real potential to win this, in the USA, IN MINNESOTA, but because I would get to spend Sunday Singles day at the Ryder Cup with my brother.
My other posts:
Part 1 - The Plan http://bit.ly/2dlzMDI
Part 2 - Wednesday http://bit.ly/2dG52R2
Part 3 - Friday http://bit.ly/2dlzMDI
Will be updating my photo galleries, too!
Thanks for reading!!
I love golf and I love to write, so I can't think of anything better than having a happy place like this to write about golf to my heart's content. Thanks for joining me!